Every so often some pretentious git comes along and declares smugly that there are no new ideas, just reinterpretations of old ones. Well no kidding, Sherlock. Even a cultural atomic bomb like Superman, a creation that birthed an entire genre, was inspired by a previous novel. Lee Falk combined Zorro and the Scarlet Pimpernel to create the Phantom, and Mike Mignola combined the Phantom and Captain America to create Lobster Johnson.
In the Mignola-verse, The Lobster was a pulp hero who shared magazine space with the likes of Doc Savage or the Shadow and even appeared in a few movie serials - and to most people, that's all he was. But back in the '30s, a slew of gangsters turned up dead, with the Lobster's claw insignia burned into their foreheads. Turns out Lobster Johnson was a real costumed adventurer, and his "creation" for the pulps was just a cover story.
Lobster Johnson's last official case was in 1939, but he has been active since then - which is a bit of surprise, since he died in the course of the mission. The ghost of Lobster Johnson keeps turning up in relation to the BPRD's cases, so it makes sense that Mezco would offer a figure of him. While the normal version will be available in the upcoming Series 1, their summer convention exclusive is the Ghost of Lobster Johnson.
The Ghost of Lobster Johnson has the same sculpt as his mass-market counterpart, but since he's shuffled off this mortal coil, he's cast entirely in translucent blue plastic. Ooooh, spooky! The lenses of his goggles and the lobster claw insignia in his left palm are painted a nice solid orange, but that's it for apps.
So, what's the claw? It's part Ghost Rider's pennance stare, part Phantom's skull-ring punch. When the Lobster had defeated his enemy, he'd press his palm against their head, imprinting a bright red claw symbol on the victim - forever branding them for their crimes. Harsh justice indeed! Also made it difficult for them to buy hats, but that's more a side effect than an actual intended outcome.
The sculpt is very good, so the fully painted version should really look nice. Lobster Johnson wears what would pass for WWII Special Forces gear, which means he looks like a flying ace: mid-calf boots, severely starched jodhpurs, a utility belt, button-up Rocketeer-style jacket and an aviator's cap. The leathers are all detailed well, with those sharp Mignola angles, and the items on his belt match what we've seen in the comic - bunch of pouches, a gas mask canister, length of rope, all that. The claw on his chest is sculpted-in, and even has a different texture than the surrounding costume.
GoLJ has only one accessory, his pistol. It fits nicely in his hand or the holster on his hip, and is detailed with all sorts of dings and scratches on its surface - just the way Mike draws it. The regular version is to come with some sort of evil floating brain thing, but that's not here. Lobby moves at the ankles, knees, hips, waist, chest, neck, shoulders, elbows and wrists. The wrists are very odd, with a large gap between the sleeve and glove. Maybe Mezco's planning to paint the pegs skin colored, but in that case, they're too skinny.
I want to take this opportunity to both praise Mezco and give a shout out to Mia Alvarez, the company's sales manager. While undoing the twisty-ties on my Ghost of Lobster Johnson, his leg came out of the tray - way before any of the rest of him. Fixing a broken balljoint isn't the easiest thing in the world, particularly when it's a hip, so I emailed the company in the hopes that they had some sort of customer service set up. Well, no, but Ms. Alvarez grabbed the GoLJ that was in the showroom and overnighted it out to me. So thank you very much, Mia, and thank you Mezco. Lobster Johnson is a good figure, and I'm glad I have one that can stand up.
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